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        HMS Protector badge

        HMS Protector

        HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s Ice patrol Ship is deployed on operations for 330 days a year, is capable of positioning to pinpoint accuracy in winds of up to 80 knots and is fitted with an impressive array of specialist equipment, including: a hull mounted multi-beam echo sounder; a state-of-the-art survey motor boat (SMB), ‘James Caird IV’; an 8.5m ramped Work Boat, ‘Terra Nova’; 7 high-speed rigid inflatable and inflatable boats; 3 quad bikes and trailers, and 3 Land Rovers and 2 trailers.

        HMS Protector

        HMS Protector is the Royal Navy’s ‘Swiss Army Knife’ – red, versatile, and always there when you need her.

        HMS Protector deployed from Portsmouth in October 2013 for a 'double deployment' to the South Atlantic, and is not expected to return to her new home port of Devonport until spring 2015.

        Protector will continue to provide a sovereign and reassuring presence in the United Kingdom’s largest Overseas Territory - the British Antarctic Territory. She will help deliver the United Kingdom’s commitments under the Antarctic Treaty, support science programmes and ensure that expeditions and vessels are meeting their international environmental obligations.

        The Ice Patrol Ship is the embodiment of the Royal Navy’s global reach, operational flexibility and the Service’s ability to sustain operations wherever and whenever that presence is required.


        Rhett Hatcher

        HMS Bulwark, HMS Penzance
        Military experience

        Rhett Hatcher was born in Bulawayo, Rhodesia and attended Grammar School in Somerset before joining Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth as a Midshipman in 1985.

        After completing Fleet Training as a Seaman Officer, he served in bridge watchkeeping appointments in HMS Scylla and HMS Juno before specialising as a Lynx helicopter pilot in 1991.

        He completed four frontline tours in 829 and 815 Naval Air Squadrons, deploying to the Far East with HMS Boxer as part of Orient ’92 before serving in HM Ships Battleaxe and Brave and finally as Flight Commander in HMS Brazen in 1994.

        He joined the latter whilst on South Atlantic patrol, and subsequently completed a deployment to the Adriatic as part of the UN peacekeeping operation during the Balkans crisis.

        Following initial staff training at Greenwich and specialist warfare training at HMS Dryad in 1997, he took up an appointment as the Above Water Warfare officer in HMS Newcastle.

        The Ship sailed to the West Indies on Counter Drug operations, the Middle East as Carrier escort and the Adriatic in support of the forces in Kosovo.

        Rhett returned to what was then the largest helicopter squadron outside America as Senior Pilot 815 Squadron and then returned to sea in command of HMS Penzance in 2001. As part of the NATO Mine Counter Measures Force North, the Ship conducted a busy programme including live ordnance clearance operations in the Baltic.

        Advanced staff training at Shrivenham and selection for promotion to Commander preceded an appointment as the Naval Assistant to Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Commander-in-Chief East Atlantic and Commander Allied Naval Forces North.

        Following this Rhett joined the UK Permanent Joint Headquarters as the Operations Team Leader for Global Counter Terrorism, with specific focus on Op Telic, the Middle East and Horn of Africa.

        Back at sea, he was the Executive Officer in HMS Bulwark during her period as the Amphibious Flagship 2007-09 and then did three staff jobs in the MOD; Joint Capability Force Protection with the lead for Counter IED, Navy Resource and Plans (Aviation & Carrier Strike) and then on promotion to Captain as the Assistant Head for UK Counter Terrorism and Resilience including planning for Op Olympics.

        He is an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers. He joined HMS Protector in March 2013.

        Rhett is married and lives in the West Country. Together they enjoy traveling and a variety of outdoor pursuits including running, cycling and anything that slides on water or snow.




        Ice patrol ship sails to the foot of the Earth
        Ice patrol ship sails to the foot of the Earth
        28 March 2014

        The Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector has ventured...

        HMS Protector’s Royal Marines recreate epic Falklands yomp
        26 March 2014

        Five Royal Marines marched 120 kilometres in four days as...

        Ice Patrol Ship assists South Georgia Government
        21 January 2014

        Personnel on board the Royal Navy’s ice patrol vessel HMS...















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        TAKE A LOOK

        HMS Protector

        'The Royal Navy’s Swiss Army Knife'


        HMS Protector HISTORY

        • History

          Launched on August 20, Protector was commissioned on December 30. She originally displaced 2,900 tones as a fast netlayer or target-towing ship.

        • World War 2

          During World War 2 she served in the South Atlantic, home waters and the early Norwegian campaign before being sent to the Mediterranean in mid-1940, where she was struck by an aerial torpedo.

        • Major refit

          She underwent the first phase of a major refit at Devonport where she was converted for service as a guardship for the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

        • New title

          Protector was officially reclassified as an ice patrol ship; although she carried out her first patrol in the autumn of 1955 of the South Atlantic and Antarctic region as patrol and survey ship.

        • The end

          She was paid off on May 3 1968 after completing 13 'seasons', and scrapped in 1970.

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